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Post by Rich Moy on Apr 3, 2018, 12:00:00 PM

Last year, IBM predicted that the demand for Data Scientists would increase 28% by 2020. So for many people, it was probably no surprise to find that in this year’s Developer Hiring Landscape report, Data Scientists reported some of the highest salaries across the globe. But Data Analysts weren’t far behind, with median earnings of $59,000 (USD) globally and $90,000 in the US alone. That begs the question: what’s the difference between Data Scientist jobs and Data Analyst jobs?

According to Martin Schedlbauer, Director of Northeastern University’s data science and analytics programs, Data Scientists are tasked with constructing new processes for data modeling and production. On the other hand, Schedlbauer says that the role of Data Analysts is to identify trends, develop charts, and create visual presentations so that business can make more strategic decisions.

Now that we understand the direct impact that Data Analysts can have on a business, it’s easy to see why they’re in such high demand. How can you stand out from the competition to hire the analysts you need? Let’s take a closer look.

Know Where They Spend Their Free Time

To understand a Data Analyst’s interests, we need to take a step back and research what they need to do their jobs. Some of the most common tools and technologies that they use at work include Microsoft Excel, SQL, Python, and R. This makes it a little easier to research the types of online forums they use to improve their skills and share ideas with their peers.

Forums like KDNuggets, Kaggle, and Data Science Central are among the most well-known communities for Data Analysts. Additionally, the Cross Validated community on Stack Overflow is also one of the most active on the entire network of Stack Exchange sites.

Because Data Analysts trust these sites, should you start sourcing candidates from them? Not exactly. Instead, use them as resources to get to know more about them. What technologies are they excited about? What are they struggling with? What are some of their most common questions? Feel free to ask questions related to their work. Over time, the personal connection you build with passive candidates on these sites will make it easier to recruit them for your Data Analyst jobs.  

Understand Their Biggest Challenges at Work

The best technical recruiters know what they don’t know. At the same time, they also take the time to learn some of the basics about the roles that they’re looking to fill.

Whether you’re writing a recruitment email or talking to a Data Analyst in person, educating yourself on some of the most common things they work on can help you stand out. Here are a few things that make the role of Data Analysts challenging.

  • Handling Data Growth. IDC estimates that the amount of information stored in the IT systems around the world doubles every two years. Even if a Data Analyst is only responsible for one organization, creating the infrastructure to handle data growth is a massive undertaking.
  • Choosing Which Data to Use. Matt Ariker, COO of McKinsey’s Consumer Marketing Analytics Center, says that misconceptions around deciding which data to use, handling analytics, and using insights to transform operations can trip up many companies.
  • Representing Data in Visual Formats. Because Data Analysts’ work impacts a variety of non-technical teams, it’s up to them to produce reports that convey insights in a widely-digestible format.

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